How to cite a survey in APA Style (6th edition)

This article reflects the APA 6th edition guidelines. Click here for APA 7th edition guidelines.

If you’re referring to your own survey research (and its results), you don’t normally need to use a formal APA Style citation. What you do instead depends on which of the following is true:

The survey/results are in an appendix

In this case, just refer to the appendix that contains the survey.

Example: Referencing a survey in the appendix

The survey asked respondents… (Appendix 1).

Overall, the survey showed that men more often… (Appendix 1).

The survey/results are not in an appendix

Since you can’t refer to an appendix, you should instead refer to a “personal communication”. Using this term indicates that the survey/results are not available to third parties – including the reader.

Personal communication
APA Format Not included in the literature list.
In the literature list Not included in the literature list.
In the text
  • The survey showed that… (B. Swaen, personal communication, November 3, 2016).

We recommend that you always include your survey and its results in an appendix. If that isn’t possible for some reason, you can avoid having to use “personal communication” by going for the Intranet solution.

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Bas Swaen

Bas is co-founder of Scribbr. Bas is an experienced academic writer and loves to teach. He helps students by writing clear, simple articles about difficult topics.

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1 comment

Bas Swaen
Bas Swaen (Scribbr Team)
December 17, 2020 at 3:30 PM

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